Saturday, July 5, 2014

Scientifical Color Combo Research: Part I

From time to time, someone will ask me where/how I come up with my color schemes for my painted constructions.  Although several things inform my color choices, one of my favorite things to recommend to them is to go down by the train tracks and look at the artwork on the box cars.

Look at not just the artwork, but also the underlying paint color and how it interacts with the work.  Throw in the patches of rust, spilled glop, numbers/letters/designations, and general wear and tear, and you have some amazing surfaces, rhythms, and textures.

With trains crisscrossing all over the country, every time you go down to the tracks you get a totally different lesson in color interactions.  Some teachers say study nature, I say study the trains.

Recently this car/artwork was in the same place for several consecutive days (usually you only get to see it for a few moments and then the train is off to another part of the country) so I went down and snapped a few pictures of it.  The interaction between the blue of the car with the orange, green, dark blue is quite nice.

I suspect the car was in the same yard for several days because of the little bit of a flood we are having at the moment.  Floods tend to snarl all traffic which takes place near or on the river.

Here are a few more images of the flood for the good folks at DuggelCo.

Typically the water level is roughly 3-4 meters below the sidewalk and railings.

The even bigger "Big Muddy".

Modern Woodman Ballpark has become its own little island.

A couple shots of the temporary bridge used to get fans to the baseball park.

Looking upstream towards the Figge Art Museum on River Drive.

A shot downstream towards Modern Woodman Park and the Centennial Bridge.

The one obligatory car that gets left in the flood waters.  The Council of The High Elders, dressed in their finest ceremonial robes and resplendent gold chains, get together and draw the name of one random citizen.  It is the honor and duty of that person to leave their car in the flood waters as a sacrifice to the alluvial gods.

Another view of River Drive.

Anyway, here are a few images from my rail yard adventure.

I know the artists who make these works have at least a partially (if not entirely) different set of criteria for evaluating the quality of the work than what I am presenting here.  I'm just diggin' the color interactions and not focused on control with the actual application of the paint and so on.....

I'm also a big fan of the imagery being 'interrupted' by the numbers and text.

I tumbled across these two videos a few years back.  They are for 'The Graffiti News Network'.  As far as I can tell he only made these two videos.  They amuse me to no end, but they are by no means 'work safe'.  Enjoy them at your leisure.

Link to Video One

Link to Video Two


Quite nice.

I also enjoy the blend of marks/imagery that are supposed to be on the cars and those that are added with spray paint. The Ratman was with me on this trip and commented on how cool this logo was.

This was the work that motivated me to stop my car and get out to take some pictures.

I'm assuming this is the signature for the artist, but my level of ignorance is so high regarding the culture and its conventions, that I will freely admit that I could be totally wrong.

Somtimes I respond to how nature interacts with the logos on the cars as well.

Nice shapes.

The wheels are a challenge to draw.

I dig these color combos.

The Ratman was highly intrigued by this one as well.

The colors in the top image elicit a memory of the colors I saw going to the circus back in the 70s.

Quite nice.  A second train was adjacent to this one, so I couldn't scoot back far enough to take a picture of the whole car.

I totally dig the color interactions going on here between the rust, the pale green, and the artwork.

Terry liked the glasses on this one.

We both thought this was robusto.

There you have it.  A twenty minute field trip can yield over a year's worth of painting ideas.

Next time will check out the joys of hot glue gun burns.

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